March 10, 2016 - 2 comments

Best in Class of Who We are Videos

Who we are videos are a vital first step in any company’s customer journey and is often a visitor's first impression of the website and of the company. Here’s my top five who we are videos:

#5 Lockheed Martin

It must be stated that Lockheed Martin has a distinct advantage as they create cutting edge technology for the most advanced military in the world. They have some of the most impressive products to show off. But they take this video past the unbelievable products they create. They also show the future possibilities of product use in everyday life. One aspect that I found especially compelling with this piece was the lack of stock footage. Lockheed Martin clearly put forth considerable effort to have all original footage in their piece as well as some incredible special effects to have a very cohesive look.

#4 Verily

One of my favorite aspects of this piece is its use of stop motion, something not as commonly used in these videos. This combined with some fantastic transitions makes for a visually compelling piece. Their overall story of seeking to discover personal, human illnesses before they happen is an emotively compelling one as well. They also did some intriguing extreme close up angles for the interviews with a tilt shift look (probably added in post) that gave the interviews an intimate and engaging emotional baseline.

#3 Huge

Huge: About Us from Huge on Vimeo.

This one is just flat out clever. Highlighting culture over specific services, Huge uses this video to highlight the fun and engaging DNA that Huge has. Just watching it you makes you feel completely at home with the company.

They accomplished this with a stellar combination of ambient audio and sometimes rough footage that gave a very raw feel to the video. They also chose a color grade that did little to doctor the image, giving it a more authentic vibe. In addition, they had fantastic dynamics of energy by starting without the music in the beginning and cutting it out completely in the middle.

#2 IBM

If you watch enough corporate videos, you can come to expect a certain kind of soundtrack: a minimally popy electronic and ambient sound. IBM completely switched it up by throwing in an oldie. Also they did some class act work by creating some simple animation to put their text in context. The biggest success of this piece is its dedication to a particular story: that IBM helps prevent tragedies before they happen.

#1 Intel

This one is my favorite. It’s not just because of the stellar set design and creative use of their products--which is, in fact, amazing. The editing job on this piece is impressive, and they leverage their theme song in innovative ways.

The best part of this video has to do with a specific and brilliant creative choice. Intel as a computer processing company has a product that could EASILY bore its audience. So instead of just focusing on the specifics of the technology or even what it can do, they focused on how the technology interacts with the human experience. Consistently, there are priceless reactions to applications of Intel’s product. Bravo Intel. Bravo.

I hope you enjoyed these pieces as much as I have and learned a few lessons in crafting your own who we are video in the future. What are some of your favorite who we are videos? Comment and let us know below.

March 3, 2016 - 3 comments

A Lesson in Marketing from Budweiser

If you haven’t noticed, Budweiser’s Super Bowl ads this year and last have been drastically different from years prior, especially their 2014 spot Puppy Love:

Why? Let’s just say that their sales fell after this ad. When I told my wife this she said, “But that’s my favorite Super Bowl commercial ever!”

I replied, “I know, but are you their target audience?”

“No” she said.

“Exactly.”

In other words, with the puppy spot, Budweiser made an incredibly popular commercial--popular among the wrong crowd, and their decrease in sales reflected it.

So Budweiser learned from their mistakes and honed in on their audience: mainly Gen Y and older blue collar males. Focusing on this demographic in 2015, they took a few shots at craft breweries with their spot “Brewed the Hard Way”:

They nailed it. Sales went up. It’s no surprise that despite harsh criticism from numerous hipster Millenials, they doubled down with their 2016 spot “Not Backing Down,” because those hipsters weren’t buying Budweiser anyways.

So what invaluable marketing lesson can we glean from this? Having a popular advertisement means absolutely nothing. But having an advertisement that motivates your target audience, that my friends, means everything.

February 8, 2016 - 2 comments

My Top Six Super Bowl 50 Commercials

Ah, the Super Bowl. The one event in which you don’t use the commercial break to load up on wings or use the bathroom because well, they’re often more entertaining than the game.

Honestly, this year didn’t stand out. Most of the commercials were a let down, but there were a few that stood above the rest that I’m especially excited about.

Here’s my top 6:

#6 Budlight

This one. Hilarious. Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen absolutely nail it, and Anomaly out of New York knew exactly what they were doing. The writing is just flat out hysterical and the context of an election year is perfect. The independence day allusion is unbelieveable, and they nail their frat or former frat boy audience that wants to get their drink on but still have some kind of a body.

#5 T-Mobile

Millennials especially enjoy it when the fourth wall (even if it’s a hypothetical fourth wall) is used in a commercial. T-Mobile does it beautifully by using it to mock their competition, producing this piece with Publicis an agency in Seattle and with creative director Earl Wallace IV.

#4 Budweiser

Again, exceptional audience analysis on this piece by Anomaly in New York. The beauty of this ad is in the ability Budweiser has to isolate its target demographic; it isn’t about craft beer lovers. It’s about the normal guy, doing normal work, that makes the world run.

#3 Doritos

Humor is found in the unexpected. And Doritos shows just how to do it. The initial surprise of the baby reacting to the Dorito engages the audience early on and knocks it out of the park as the baby literally flies out of the mother.

#2 Heinz

What could be more interesting than dogs in costumes flocking to people in costumes? The geniuses at David, an agency in Miami, worked on this one. The classic music, the slow motion. It just fits perfectly. As they say, cute sells.

#1 Jeep

Simplicity is always best. Iris in New York managed to break all the rules while following a crucial one: it’s all about the eyes. The vast majority of the commercial is composed of portraits staring straight into the camera. There’s just something about eyes that bring about connection. This, along with the beautifully written VO, makes you laugh and cry all within 60 seconds.

I hope you all enjoyed these commercials as much as I did. What were some of your favorites from this year’s Super Bowl?

January 14, 2016 - 2 comments

Frontier

About
We enjoy pushing ourselves in the creativity of our craft, so we work to produce a new passion project once a quarter. This project was incredibly fun, pushing ourselves in every aspect.

Approach
We approached local poet Matt Bruch-Andersen to collaborate. After immersing ourselves in the poem he wrote, we determined the mood and aesthetic we wanted for the project. The result was a trip to Colorado traveling all throughout the Rocky Mountains. We shot over a 4-day period.

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Result
The result was this exhilarating piece of creativity that told a story in tandem with the film and the poem.

November 20, 2015 - 2 comments

Lou-Rich : Who-We-Are

 

About
We were brought in by Lou-Rich to produce a video that tells the story of who they are as a company. Lou-Rich is an Albert Lea, MN based manufacturing company. They create products for the healthcare and agricultural sectors. They are working to release a new website and they wanted a video that depicted their history and showed who they were as a company.

Approach
Early on in the pre-production stage we saw a great many wonderful aspects of the company. It’s 100% employee owned. It’s been around for decades as a leader in manufacturing. And they never settle with the status quo.

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After receiving the outline and hearing the desires for the video. We pushed for a more creative approach. We developed our own version of the script and pitched the client on it. We suggested we move the video from a traditional corporate overview, to an energizing commercial-like who we are video. They loved it.

After approval on the script and concept, we developed a shot-list of every shot we’d like in the piece. From there, we went down to Albert Lea to film. We spent 8-hours on site capturing each shot, working with the team and employees to capture it all. We opted to film in a slower frame rate for much of the project to make it feel more epic.

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After production, we recorded the voiceover and sourced custom music for the video. Taking all of the assets, we moved into editing and color-correction of the footage. We opted for a darker final look that had desaturated colors in the lowlights.

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Results
The client loved the final video. Here’s what they said.

“All 100% of the employee-owners at Lou-Rich couldn't be happier with how this turned out. This project not only captured all of our capabilities in a short video (not easy) but also is a helpful reminder for our employees to take pride in working for Lou-Rich!”

November 11, 2015 - 4 comments

Matthew Carrara Story

About
Matthew Carrara inspires those around him, whether it’s at his work at Boston Scientific or the non-profit Enliven International which he founded. In this passion piece, we wanted capture what drives him.

Approach
We sat down with Matthew at length interviewing him about his passions, his family, his work life, and the nonprofit he founded. We also followed him around at Boston Scientific and at a meeting with his nonprofit to film him in his element.

After numerous cuts and recuts of the interview, we finally landed on an edit we loved. From there we strategically placed our b-roll, selected music, and colored the film for the feel we sought to achieve.

Result
The result was this passion piece that takes a look into the mind and heart of an incredible man, Matthew Carrara.

November 5, 2015 - 2 comments

Wayzata Endodontics

 

About
Wayzata Endodontics is a private practice that sought us out to create a video that clearly communicated not only what exactly endodontics is but who they are specifically as a company.

Approach
We worked closely with the owner of Wayzata Endodontics to accurately gleam what exactly it was they wanted to communicate about their company. After an extensive interview with the owner, we spent a half day gathering b-roll on a gorgeous fall morning.

In post production, we thoughtfully combed through the interviews to boil it down to the heart of who Wayzata Endodontics was. From there we did some ramping with some of the slow motion footage to engage the audience even more.

Result
After some coloring and finalization of the music, we ended up with a compelling who we are video for Wayzata Endodontics.

November 4, 2015 - 2 comments

The 3 Non-Negotiable Aspects of a Story

Storytelling is the primary way in which we relate. To people. To brands. To products. But with stories being so integrated into our culture, why is it so easy to create a “story” that falls short, one that doesn’t connect with others?

I find that today there’s so many people today talking about story. Whether it’s a personal story, a brand story, or a corporate story. I think one of the key reasons that stories fall short is that they’re missing one of these three key aspects to a story. Here are three things necessary for an emotionally engaging story:

1. There needs to be a subject.
There needs to be a central character for emotional connection. This isn’t the montage video showing the company hard at work in all aspects with multiple interviews. This is one individual, sharing her heart for the company, her vision and hope, and ultimately how this company is changing the world.

2. There needs to be tension.
Too often we attempt to sugarcoat the challenges. When in reality we always root for the underdog. The one that needs to overcome. A story requires a challenge. Even if that challenge is something as common inefficiency.

3. There needs to be resolution.
It’s vital to establish a solution and resolution to the story. How did the persons desires and goals get achieved? How was the challenge overcome? Resolution doesn’t have to be a perfectly wrapped ending. It can still have unknowns and excitement, but it needs to bring about progress.

If you work to incorporate all of these elements in the next story you tell, you’ll find a significant increase in engagement and retention.

September 25, 2015 - 4 comments

Nostalgia

 

About
One of the key things we value as a company is to constantly be pushing ourselves in our craft. So we were bouncing around some passion project ideas and we landed on the idea to collaborate with a poet. After reaching out to a local poet, Anthony Tei Mutua, we asked him if he could write a poem specifically for us. And he did.

Approach
After nailing down the poem, we ideated to find the specific emotions that we wanted to drive this piece. We used these keywords to then help us select a shot list that would guide us on our one and a half days of production that took us all over Minneapolis and Taylors Falls.

In post, we edited and pulled in our VO artist and coloring to push this piece to its absolute best. We also were very intentional with the sound effects we brought in to tie very specific emotions to the location of the shot.

Result
The result, is this enthralling short video that takes you on a sonic and visual journey of a poem.

Production Company: Moving Edge Media
Producer: Ryan Gates
Director: Jonathan Vinson
Director of Photography: Ryan Gates
Editor: Jonathan Vinson
Sound Mixing: John-Paul Natysin
Music: Fear Not by Ryan Talbert

August 13, 2015 - 2 comments

Skykit Animated Explainer

About

Agosto approached us as they were launching a new brand and product: Skykit, a back of house display built upon Google apps. They wanted to create a persona specific video that targeted people working in HR with many locations; they knew exactly who they wanted to reach and asked us to create a video that spoke directly to them.

Approach

So we got to work. Agosto sought to tell the story of how Skykit brings the world of internal HR communication in the the 21st century: from cork boards to the cloud. After collaborating with their team to refine and develop a script using their newly developed brand guidelines, we created a storyboard, handled talent, and worked with our animator to bring the vision together.

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Results
The client absolutely loved the final product. This is what they had to say:

"These guys don't only make videos, they increase sales and provide insight into the overall marketing campaign. Very impressed… 17.5% of our leads last quarter came from the video Moving Edge Media created." - Ben Schmitt, Marketing

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